Date:  23 July 2019

Hon. Karen Andrews

Minister for Industry Science and Technology

Parliament House


Dear Minister


We refer to an article published by Robert Gottliebsen in today’s edition of The Australian newspaper under the heading ‘ATO GST powers should be a worry for business’ (copied below), in which Mr Gottliebsen expresses profound concern for business, small business in particular, by stating:

Few of the above instances of abuse of small business and attacks on the industry department were about raising money. It was simply the joy of middle ranking tax officials showing off their extensive power. But nothing in the above record of ATO abuse has prepared us for the latest assault planned for the business community if this week’s proposed legislation is approved by the parliament.

Given its record, I have no doubt the ATO will quickly use the proposed new powers over all its activities. Honest taxpaying business people have every reason to be fearful, so around the land they must consider disposing of their personal assets if the government’s bill is passed. Alternatively they may decide that the government has made business too risky.

We share the concerns expressed by Mr Gottliebsen, and no doubt that of many others, and add our voice to condemning the Bill in its present form.  Furthermore, as the Morrison government has scheduled to this week put the Bill before the parliament, urgent steps must be taken to amend it to address the acute concerns outlined by Mr Gottliebsen.

Yours faithfully

Combined Small Business Alliance

of Western Australia Inc. (CoSBA)


Chief Executive Officer

cc:  Hon. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister; Hon. Michaelia Cash, Minister for Small Business; Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance; Hon. Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition.